The best preserved temple in Egypt is the temple dedicated to the falcon god Horus, at Edfu. Like the Temple of Isis at the island of Philae, the great pylon (above) is nearly totally intact, and maintains the large murals on its exterior. The long vertical niches in the front face were insets for tall flagstaffs (see the page on Luxor for an artist's rendition of how such a pylon may have appeared in ancient times). The huge doorway is flanked by a pair of large granite standing falcon statues.


When you enter a temple complex the walls and ceilings of the gateway will be covered in artwork. The ceiling will typically have a row of flying falcons. The direction that the falcons are flying (into or out of the temple) signifies whether or not mere mortals are allowed into this temple. Ceilings are also great places to see some original paint colors, as the sun has not been as harsh to these semi-hidden surfaces.


Here I am standing next to one of the large granite Horus statues in the interior courtyard. Unlike the statues outside at the gate, these statues wear the double crown of the united upper and lower Egypt.


Back on board the cruise ship, here we see a typical view during the trip down the Nile. The land is lush along the river, but beyond that the hills are barren, covered with nothing but sand and rocks.